12 October, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

It's a quiet day on the stupidity front, but there's still a bit, and we shall happily bash it before going on to better things.  I myself am going to skimp on the blogging tonight in favor of hanging out drinking with my characters.

But first, let us limber up the Smack-o-Matic and prepare for a true headdesk moment:
Mort Zuckerman was on McLaughlin this week and said that the stimulus was a big fat failure because there was so much pork and they had given way too much money to the states. He mentioned in particular a high speed rail line between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, which he characterized as a boondoggle for Harry Reid. When asked what the money should have been spent on, he replied: "infrastructure."
Ohforfuck'ssake.

Someone explain to the fucktard what "infrastructure" is before he does us further injury.

John McCain was yammering away on the Sunday shows yet again.  One would think that the shows would understand that a) McCain lost the election; b) he has nothing intelligent to say, and c) he's wrong all the damned time, but no.  Steve Benen laments:
The interview, as I understand it, was pre-recorded on Friday, which is a shame. I would have liked to see John King ask the Arizona senator about Frank Rich's column today, which emphasized McCain's record of being consistently wrong about what's alleged to be his signature issue.
To appreciate this crowd's spotless record of failure, consider its noisiest standard-bearer, John McCain. He made every wrong judgment call that could be made after 9/11. It's not just that he echoed the Bush administration's constant innuendos that Iraq collaborated with Al Qaeda's attack on America. Or that he hyped the faulty W.M.D. evidence to the hysterical extreme of fingering Iraq for the anthrax attacks in Washington. Or that he promised we would win the Iraq war "easily." Or that he predicted that the Sunnis and the Shiites would "probably get along" in post-Saddam Iraq because there was "not a history of clashes" between them.
What's more mortifying still is that McCain was just as wrong about Afghanistan and Pakistan. He routinely minimized or dismissed the growing threats in both countries over the past six years, lest they draw American resources away from his pet crusade in Iraq.
Two years after 9/11 he was claiming that we could "in the long term" somehow "muddle through" in Afghanistan. (He now has the chutzpah to accuse President Obama of wanting to "muddle through" there.) Even after the insurgency accelerated in Afghanistan in 2005, McCain was still bragging about the "remarkable success" of that prematurely abandoned war. In 2007, some 15 months after the Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf signed a phony "truce" ceding territory on the Afghanistan border to terrorists, McCain gave Musharraf a thumb's up. As a presidential candidate in the summer of 2008, McCain cared so little about Afghanistan it didn't even merit a mention among the national security planks on his campaign Web site.
He takes no responsibility for any of this. Asked by Katie Couric last week about our failures in Afghanistan, McCain spoke as if he were an innocent bystander: "I think the reason why we didn't do a better job on Afghanistan is our attention -- either rightly or wrongly -- was on Iraq." As Tonto says to the Lone Ranger, "What do you mean 'we,' white man?"
Along with his tribunes in Congress and the punditocracy, Wrong-Way McCain still presumes to give America its marching orders. With his Senate brethren in the Three Amigos, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, he took to The Wall Street Journal's op-ed page to assert that "we have no choice" but to go all-in on Afghanistan -- rightly or wrongly, presumably -- just as we had in Iraq. Why? "The U.S. walked away from Afghanistan once before, following the Soviet collapse," they wrote. "The result was 9/11. We must not make that mistake again."
This shameless argument assumes -- perhaps correctly -- that no one in this country remembers anything.
Least of all the bookers for the Sunday morning shows.

No shit, right?  No wonder the media fucktards loved Bush so much - they seem to have a passion for both stupidity and gargantuan wrongness that just can't be sated.

And the media has this unbreakable habit of asking some of the biggest dumbshits silly fucking questions:
Yesterday in his speech to the Human Rights Campaign, President Obama pledged to “end” the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. That comment was the subject of a debate this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) expressed his support for Obama’s position, but emphasized that it needs “buy-in from the military.” Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers struck a different note:
HOST: Do you have an opinion about whether it’s time?
MYERS: Well, I take some exception with what Senator Levin said because gays can serve in the military; they just can’t serve openly. And they do. And there’s lots of them. And we’re the beneficiary of all that.
Levin rolled his eyes after hearing Myers’ remark. Gen. Barry McCaffrey said “there’s no question it’s time to change the policy.” Asked for his thoughts, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) avoided making any clear statements.


"Do you have an opinion about whether it's time?"  Wow, what hard-hitting journalism that was.  Such surprising answers.  My gosh. I never would've seen Myers' fucktardedness coming, or possibly guessed that Lindsey Graham would avoid an outright answer.  Gee.  Look at all the enlightenment I'm missing, not watching those shows.

Susie Madrak advises against it, anyway:
We over-consume via 24-hour news channels, talk radio, print media and blogs, in something akin to the binge-and-purge cycle of bulimics.

The thing is, media manipulation is ultimately about selling soap. The soap might be dish detergent, a candidate or an economic philosophy, but someone's trying to sell something. And the more media we consume, the more we're willing to buy.

Media manipulation is so pervasive, so insidious that even people like me who identify it for a living are occasionally distracted from the real point.

All these emotional highs and lows are the results of hypervigilance, brought on by media overconsumption. (Look at your typical Beck fan. I rest my case.) Yes, there really are bad things happening - but probably not as many as you think.

Unfortunately for bloggers, it's our lot in life to play political Paul Revere. In order to protect and warn the village, we must constantly scan the horizon. But you? You don't have to.

The more life experience you have, the more diversity of people and places, the less susceptible you are to media hypnosis. So do step away from the computer occasionally.


I know it's hard.  The train-wreck's just too delightfully gruesome to miss, innit?  But too much rubber-necking can lead to whiplash, so I suppose we shall have to tear ourselves away eventually.

But not before we hand the Smack-o-Matic over to a worthy wielder:
Economist Larry Mishell:
"I consider President Obama to be in the situation of having inherited a burning apartment building. He proceeded to gather all the available fire trucks and douse the fires in half the floors. Yet his critics complain that the other floors are still on fire. Even worse, those critics are the ones who started the fire. And they want to withdraw the fire trucks."
I would just add that those who started the fire did it so they could collect the insurance. And since they are relatives of the new owners, they all gain if the house burns completely down. Unfortunately, it might take down the whole neighborhood with it.
Precisely.

And now I'm going to do something really cruel and leave you with a Billy Joel song, because the above bit got it stuck in my head.  You can get your revenge in comments, if you like.

6 comments:

lasthussar said...

Dear Mr McCain. Please let me know your predictions for various sporting events- because that way I can bet on the other team.

Cujo359 said...

Embedding disabled by request. Ha, ha, ha, ha! I'll figure out the revenge part later...

Cujo359 said...

One of my favorite BJ videos. Hard to believe it's been over twenty years, until you take a look at what people are wearing.

Cujo359 said...

As for revenge, click here.

Dana Hunter said...

That dish shall have to be served later, as my computer has decided that audio is an unnecessary extra with video at the moment. But as they say, it's a dish best served cold anyway.

As for the disabled embedding, if you search for Billy Joel and then get to his special YouTube page, you can sometimes work around the evil media company's attempts to disable the embedding, as I happily discovered whilst trying to embed the video here. Go here, choose your video, click that little thingy in the corner that gives you choices, copy embed code, et voila.

So if you wish to spring him on some of your own unsuspecting readers, you now know the secret.

RickU said...

It's never torture to leave us with Billy Joel!